Description of Andalucia self guided walking, Spain
Newly restored cave houses situated in the village of Castillejar offer a unique walking holiday experience in friendly rural surroundings. Both houses have been refurbished to a high standard, but still retain a rustic style with many unique features. We can accommodate upto twelve people in the two properties which are adjacent to each other.
The amazing natural insulation of cave houses means that they stay cool in summer and warm in winter a pleasant sixteen degrees. Both properties have wood burning stoves for cosy winter nights. Set in a peaceful location at the edge of the village, the houses have beautiful views across the valley to the mountains beyond.
Castillejar is situated between the fertile valleys of the rivers Barbatas and Guardal. Some of the most beautiful natural parks in the country are within easy reach – Sierra de Baza to the south, the Sierras of Huescar, Castril, Segura and Cazorla to the north. These mountains offer stunning contrasts of pine forests, vertical rock faces, rivers, lakes and hot springs.
The walking in and around the village is good with lots of way marked paths linking with other villages These routes meander through beautiful fertile valleys full of olive groves and almond trees. Great for an evening stroll and for longer easy walks with perhaps lunch in a neighbouring village
With the choice of four natural parks within half an hours drive the mountain walking opportunities are fabulous. There are hundreds of kilometres of way marked paths through spectacular scenery with routes to suit all levels of ability. In these serene mountains we have been privileged to see a wide variety of wild life including golden eagles, mountain cats and ibex.
The intense blue waters of Lake Embalse de Negratin are in striking contrast to the landscape. This is an ideal place to relax in the thermal springs after a walk. The pools are open every day except for Christmas day.
The climate is ideal for walking most of the year September to November for an Indian Summer of walking . December and January for mild winter walking and Olive Harvest time. February for the almond blossom.. March to June for bird watching and wildflowers. July and August are generally too hot for serious walking
We have owned the cave houses for the past eight years during which time we have enjoyed exploring the stunning Natural Parks that surround them. We are now able to offer a range of self guided walking holidays tailored to suit guests specific needs. Or simply come and relax and enjoy this wonderful part of Spain If you are looking for a holiday away from crowds love exploring the great outdoors and want to experience the real Spain then this is the place for you.
Arrive. We suggest you settle in and take a small walk locally to get to know the environment and the village.
The Castrill Valley: This is a great place to start your walking holiday with several way marked routes to
suit all abilities. You can choose from gentle riverside strolls to a full days excursion to summits over 2000m
Jabalcon and the thermal baths: This solitary mountain rises from the plains and dominates the landscape. Climb to the top for spectacular views of
Lake Negratine and the Sierra Nevada. Enjoy a visit to the thermal baths on your way home
Gallera: Take a walk through fertile valleys to the village of Gallera enjoy lunch at a local Retaurant
and perhaps take a look at the well preserved bronze age site.
Sagra: At 2383m Sagra is the highest mountain in the area there are several routes to the summit and
the round trip takes between 5 and 7 hours
Sierra de Baza: From the visitor centre choose one of
the way marked routes and enjoy the spectacular scenery that this beautiful national park has to offer.
Castrill. Visit the mountain village and experience the famous gorge walk. Afterwards enjoy a tapas in the square and soak up the atmosphere
Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.
The amazing natural insulation of cave houses mean that they stay cool in summer and warm in winter a pleasant constant temperature of sixteen degrees. They require no air conditioning in the summer and very little extra heating in the winter despite outside temperature extremes of +40c to -10c. Both caves have wood burning stoves to help on chilly winter nights. These have hot plates and are also a great energy saving way to cook food.
The water supply is metered and all the bathrooms are shower only with half flush toilets. We use eco friendly cleaning products including eco balls for the laundry. Once we have established an income from the caves we plan to reinvest this to further enhance their environmental credentials. Solar panels are an obvious first step down this route and we hope to install these in the near future. There are very good recycling facilities with segregated collection points throughout the village.
Castillejar is traditional Spanish village there are no large supermarkets and as with most of rural Spain no Sunday opening. The pace of life is much slower and we think better for it. There are a good range of shops bars and cafes in the village and we encourage our guests to use these and support the community. The local produce is fantastic with a vast range of local fruit and vegetables available at the regular Saturday market all year round.
The village is within easy reach of three national parks and we employ local guides for walking and horse riding excursions. The cave houses belonged to a local family who restored them using traditional methods retaining many original features. All the furniture and furnishings were bought locally and give the caves a really authentic traditional feel. We have an ongoing plan to upgrade the cave houses and are using a local Spanish builder to impliment these plans